Alignment Woes? - Cobalt SS Network



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Old 11-06-2017, 09:27 AM   #1
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Alignment Woes?

I recently replaced many of my front-end components that were worn are on their way there with new parts. I replaced the struts, strut hats, lower ball joint, CABs, sway bar links, sway bar bushings, tie rod ends and rear shocks. I used all OEM parts except for the CABs which are ZZP solid cabs. I did a basic toe alignment in my driveway just good enough to get me to the shop that was going to do my alignment. So I had the alignment done and things just don't feel good at all. First, there's a slight pull to the right, then at low speed turns it feels as if one of the tires is getting yanked, on higher speed turns it feels unnerving and if I drive over bumps or uneven surfaces the car feels like it's skipping, shaky and squirrely; almost as if it's start to hydroplane. I'm starting to think the problem is the shop, as my last car I took there has a similar feel, though I never drove that car much prior to the alignment as I rebuilt the entire car so I assumed that's the way it was. It's also no where near as bad as the Cobalt is now. I was just hoping to get some opinions, if it's something I may have screwed up when replacing parts or if the shop is just ****. They did give me a print out of the alignment before/after specs.

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Old 11-06-2017, 09:51 AM   #2
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First thing to try is to go back to the shop. My dad had a bad alignment once that they fixed. It happens.

Another possibility is a bad tire. I had a new tire that pulled really bad. Had them swap it and no issues after. You can tell it's a bad tire by rotating and seeing if the problem goes with it.
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Old 11-07-2017, 02:00 PM   #3
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make sure you compress the ball joint with a jack into the knuckle when torquing the pinch bolt
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by exninja
First thing to try is to go back to the shop. My dad had a bad alignment once that they fixed. It happens.

Another possibility is a bad tire. I had a new tire that pulled really bad. Had them swap it and no issues after. You can tell it's a bad tire by rotating and seeing if the problem goes with it.
I called the shop back and they offered to put it back up and take a look again. I dunno if it's worth my time. However, you may be right on the tires. Given my existing summer tires are done, they spent their whole lives getting worn down based on the old, tired suspension. Now it's sitting marginally differently and the tires can be causing an issue. Tomorrow I'll swap my winter tires on and give it a try.

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make sure you compress the ball joint with a jack into the knuckle when torquing the pinch bolt
This, I didn't do this either. So when I toss those winter tires on, I'll re-torque this. I might then head back and have another them take a second look at it since this could effect the camber.

Thanks for the suggestions!!!!
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Old 11-10-2017, 03:29 PM   #5
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So I found out what was wrong. The ball joints are the wrong ones. I ordered from RockAuto MAS BJ90415XL Extended Life, which are listed for FE3/FE5 suspensions and the the shaft diameter is too small and it's sliding out of the knuckle. So I need to order new ones. Anyone have any recommendations? I heard the Moog ones for the FE3/FE5 suspension weren't all that good.
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:20 PM   #6
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So I found out what was wrong. The ball joints are the wrong ones. I ordered from RockAuto MAS BJ90415XL Extended Life, which are listed for FE3/FE5 suspensions and the the shaft diameter is too small and it's sliding out of the knuckle. So I need to order new ones. Anyone have any recommendations? I heard the Moog ones for the FE3/FE5 suspension weren't all that good.
im running all moog ball joints, cabs, sway bar links and tie rod ends
no complaints, all of them are heavy duty construction
lifetime warranty too
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:18 PM   #7
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You likely got ball joints sized for pre-08 FE5 suspension.
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:49 PM   #8
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You likely got ball joints sized for pre-08 FE5 suspension.
I ordered Moog ones, part number K80567. Hopefully these are good. How can I tell which are pre-'08? I thought the FE5 suspension started in '08?
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Old 11-10-2017, 06:32 PM   #9
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FE5 was always the suspension on the SS. There were changes made to it in 2008.
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Old 11-11-2017, 04:00 PM   #10
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lnf got 1mm bigger ball joints
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:11 AM   #11
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lnf got 1mm bigger ball joints
Do you by any chance know what that's supposed to be? This way I can measure the Moog parts when I get them.
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:02 PM   #12
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The Moog ball joints just came in. After searching around more and more I found that the FE5 SS/TC ball joint pins are 20mm. I measured the Moogs (part number k80567) and they are indeed 20mm. I'll try tossing this in this evening and seeing how they fit.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:10 PM   #13
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I just installed one of the ball joints, on the right side and I have the exact same problem. You can see it here in the video I posted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-ez...ature=youtu.be

I'm not quite sure what to do at this point.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:05 PM   #14
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What torque spec did you use? Tighten, loosen partial turn, then re-tighten?

What's the diameter o the bolt you're using, the bolt should sit in a bump on the ball joint without much room for movement even not torqued.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:32 PM   #15
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What torque spec did you use? Tighten, loosen partial turn, then re-tighten?

What's the diameter o the bolt you're using, the bolt should sit in a bump on the ball joint without much room for movement even not torqued.
I torqued it to what should be spec, pin bolt torqued to 37lb-ft, loosened 3/4 turn, tightened back to 37 and then an additional 30 degrees. I didn't check the diameter of the bolt, I used the one that came with the new ball joint. There is a slot, I can't get the bolt in at all if it's not lined up; however, it appears to move within the confines of that slot against the bolt. I can't imagine though that the pin bolt holds the entire weight of the side of the car.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:43 AM   #16
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I wasn't saying you could get away without torqueing the bolt, just it should be a relatively snug fit. The hole for the ball joint might be opened to far, you may have to torque it more than once to close the knuckle side tight.
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